Friday, 31 August 2012

Happy blue moon!

Happy blue moon! Today's full moon is the second in a calender month and many refer to it as a blue one. Apparently a blue moon's original definition was the third moon where there were four occurring in an agricultural season (which is three months). 65 years ago a magazine erroneously said it was where there were two in a month and even though it printed a retraction it stuck! The next blue moon by the old definition will be on 21 August 2013 - I'll have another celebration then I think, just to be sure I'm not offending anyone! (Any excuse!!)

The above print is one that I have purchased from Elizabeth Chambers' Etsy shop. Isn't it gorgeous?! Geoff has been busy buying artwork from several different British artists for the gallery but I'm keeping this one myself. I'm sure he'll frame it for me if I ask nicely! Elizabeth's work is beautiful and if the quality of the print is OK (I'm sure it will be), then it could well be that galleryRAUXA will be buying more from her.

Speaking of which, everything is going ahead but we're a week behind schedule. Our lawyer is on a fixed fee and apparently he thinks this means he doesn't have to do any work on it until we chase him. We instructed him and he wrote to the other side's lawyer for a draft lease and then we heard nothing for weeks. The Landlord was really slow in getting back to the Letting Agent after we put our offer in so we just assumed they were being just as slow on the legals but when we rang our lawyer to ask if everything was going ahead he said "Oh yes, the lease is here, I'll send it to you". How long had it been hanging around on his desk ... we have no idea! Then he went on holiday for a week.

We saw him exactly two weeks ago. We sent him our notes and queries in advance of the meeting. When we got there, he hadn't read them. We stated at that meeting that we wanted to get in on Monday 3 September and we were getting anxious as we had tradesman booked to do the fit out. He seemed to think if he got his letter off to the other side early the next week it would be tight but doable. But he didn't send it til the following Friday (after we rang to see what was happening). We got a reply from the other side yesterday. They are agreeable to all our amendments to the lease except for a couple of points that we're happy to let go.

We've e-mailed him yesterday with a couple of queries and stressing the urgency. No reply yet, I know Fridays are busy for property-oriented lawyers with completions and so it doesn't look like it's going to happen on Monday. We really need to be in by the following Monday as we've re-arranged our electrician and joiner (and the follow up decorator). I wouldn't like to have to mess our tradesmen around by re-arranging again. Oh well, I suppose it's always the way when dealing with solicitors. So far, this has been by far the most stressful bit! We are going to have to be very assertive next week and talk to him every day to keep on top of him, if you leave him to it, he just does nothing.

We've got our corporate identity fixed with a new logo designed by the very talented Rick of Richard F Illustration who I worked with for many years back in the days when I had a proper job! He's now in business for himself too.

Rauxa is a Catalan word for "Creative Chaos" and we wanted something that reflected that as well as being friendly and approachable - we don't want the type of gallery that people are intimidated to walk into. The domain name is reserved for our new picture framing gallery and an outline of the website has been uploaded.

We saw the printers yesterday, artwork on our stationery should be back in proof form next Tuesday - we're going ahead with a small print run to begin with as we can't get a telephone number til we move in, there's no way of reserving one in advance apparently (Geoff's mobile will have to do).

We still need to sort out insurances and arrange for window display and sign writing.

We also still need a counter and low level display units. The low level units won't be ordered til we've moved in as we want them delivering directly to the premises - I can't get any more cluttered up here with stuff! It's all over the place! The counter will be an Ebay job I think and probably after we get the keys, that way it will only need moving once.

We still need loads of stock too ... Geoff and I have been visiting lots of artists and it's been lovely to see them, we just started taking delivery of our orders. This cheeky chappy is the first original watercolour we've framed for galleryRAUXA. Painted by Alison Fennell of "Eastwitching", we have another of her originals and some brilliant prints of her wonderful wildlife waiting to be framed.

We're going to Cambridge's Art & Craft market tomorrow but I won't be having a stall - I don't have to get up at 5.45am to get there in time to be all set up ... that is going to be weird. We're picking up boxes of stock from various artists which we ordered a while ago - it might be an expensive day! It will make a change to be buying instead of selling!

Enjoy the blue moon and have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Bye bye Cambridge

Last Saturday was my last on All Saints Arts & Craft Market. It was smashing weather and I did quite well sales wise. Many times when customers are just looking, they ask how often you're at the market so they can come back (sometimes for Christmas gifts) or a birthday that's coming up. In the past, I've just had to confess I'm there every week and hope they came back but this time I had a killer sales close in that I was able to say "well, if you don't buy it now, it won't be here again!" so I think that helped a bit!

Here's a photo taken of me and Chris Nunn the market manager. He is also leaving this month, next week will be his last week as he's retiring (no-one knows how long he has been doing it, certainly much longer than my nine years) so if you want some of his exquisite hand turned bowls, you'll have to go along this Saturday!

Sarah Jane who makes brilliant bags and jewellery will be taking over and I'm sure she'll do a great job, though Chris is a tough act to follow!

Just as I was packing up, there was an announcement by Sarah Jane (she has a very loud voice!) saying DH and I were leaving the market and everyone wished us well in our new venture. We got a lovely bunch of flowers and a card signed by everyone. It was most unexpected and a huge surprise, most people just leave the market without any fuss or bother. I got quite choked up at that point, I must confess!

So far this week, it doesn't feel like I've left really. I am doing an Art & Craft market this Saturday but it is in Lincoln very close to where galleryRAUXA will be situated. It's called the Fete on the Strait. So I'm doing all the usual things that I do during the week, making beads, making more jewellery to replace what I sold last week and that all important bit .... watching the weather forecast with increasing hope and anxiety!

Hope to see lots of people in Lincoln this Saturday, happy August bank holiday weekend everyone!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sunny Friday in Cambridge - photos of my stall/booth

I've often been asked to put some photographs of my stall (or booth as my transatlantic friends call it) where I sell my jewellery every Saturday in Cambridge. As I'll soon be giving up my stall after nine years, I thought I'd better get round to it before the opportunity is gone! The Art & Craft market is open on Fridays too during the summer. There are usually fewer stallholders there as it's a bit quieter so last Friday, I took my camera along and took a few snaps. I've posted them as a Facebook album but for non-Facebookers, here are a few of the bestest ones

This is my view looking to the left

From outside looking in

Peeking round the side to the left. In bad weather I have tarpaulins keeping out the rain on the sides of the stall as well as on the top. That's the side of Trinity College in the background. The tower in the middle of All Saints Garden is a memorial to the founders who raised the money to build the church that once occupied this site. The church has gone but the memorial (and some gravestones) are still here ...

Missy is usually snuggled down on her "stall bed" which is brought specially for her and it's underneath the table behind me. When it's sunny, we put her bed in the sunshine as she loves sunning herself. She has a water bowl which is kept topped up all the time. Often people notice her (rather than my jewellery!!) In colder weather, she has blankets to keep her warm. Sometimes she jumps up onto my lap and tries to charm my customers into buying something! Her eye looks a bit runny in this picture, she's got a case of conjunctivitis. We're treating it with antibiotic eyedrops twice a day but its on the mend! Whilst I'm setting up (takes about an hour and a half) she gets a long walk down by the backs and the river with her Daddy, that tends to tire her out for most of the rest of the day!

And here's a picture of the whole thing from a short distance, I put the top tarpaulin is on even in good weather as there are often pigeons in the trees ....!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Bargains on Ebay

This magnificient display unit was purchased yesterday from a very posh jewellery shop in Derby that has a refit. We got it on Ebay for £10.50! Mind you, the van to collect it was another £65 plus fuel. To get the most out of the van hire, DH did a lot of driving yesterday, he went to Sudbury in Suffolk too and picked up three double fronted lockable cabinets also purchased from Ebay. galleryRAUXA loves Ebay!

The unit is taking up quite a bit of space in the dining room, we can only get to one side of the dining table now (3 places instead of 6, adding the extender leaf taking it up to 8 which we do occasionally is out of the question for the time being!) So we can only dine with one guest til this moves to galleryRAUXA's premises on the Strait in Lincoln (hopefully early September). However, more importantly, access to the wine rack has been judiciously preserved! :-)